More than 30 countries and territories have signed bilateral youth mobility agreements with Canada. Foreign youth(18 to 35) can obtain a temporary work permit to travel and work in Canada through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. IEC can assist you in gaining international work experience after graduation, taking a gap year before starting post-secondary studies, or completing an international co-op or internship.
What is the IEC Working Holiday Visa Program in Canada?
Over 30 countries can apply for temporary work permits, allowing people to legally live and work in Canada. Depending on your nationality, the permits last between 12 and 24 months. The first step is to create a profile, which notifies Canadian authorities of a candidate’s desire to stay in Canada for a working holiday. Those who are accepted will receive an invitation to formally complete their work permit application; however, this will be dependent on their eligibility and availability.
A Working Holiday Visa in Canada is a popular option in countries where it is available, as it gives its participants an open work permit they can use for any employer.
Here are some of the other categories you may be eligible for:
Young Professionals is for foreign youth intending to gain professional experience in Canada, especially post-secondary graduates. The applicant must have a signed employment contract or offer letter from an employer in Canada before applying.
International Co-op (Internship)
Students enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship are eligible for the International Co-op (Internship) option. Participants must want to participate in a work placement or internship in Canada as part of their academic coursework and must be registered students for the duration of the internship. Participants may be issued permits with a longer validity due to their citizenship, though permits issued under this category are generally valid for 12 months. In order to apply, candidates must have a signed job offer letter or contract for a work placement or internship in Canada that meets the academic requirements of their home country.
Who Can Apply?
- A bilateral agreement must exist between your country or territory and Canada
- Have a Recognised Organisation (RO) to help you
- This is only applicable for those whose country is not part of IEC’s initial agreement
Participation is typically permitted only once, but some countries will allow you to participate twice, under separate pools. The eligibility requirements vary from country to country, so make sure you check before applying. Even if you’re issued an invitation to apply, you can’t participate more times than your country allows. Make sure you read and understand all the requirements before you submit an application.
Source: Working Holiday Visa in Canada: 2022 Season, Government of Canada official website